Fathers and Developmental Psychopathology

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When we first began compiling a review of the literature concerning fathers and developmental psychopathology several years ago, a colleague stated that fathers do not have an impact on children's lives because fathers spend so little time with their children. Although it may be true that many children do not have contact with their fathers, the majority of U.S. children under the age of 18 have some contact with their biological fathers and often with stepfathers. In addition, fathers make a genetic contribution to their children's functioning regardless of their presence. Interest in the contribution of fathers to their children's development is evident in the attention that fathers have received in the research literature on normative developmental processes. The same cannot be said, however, for the research literature on developmental psychopathology.

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Current Directions in Psychological Science, v. 2, no. 5, p. 162-165